With Jay Ajayi done for the season, there’s been a lot of talk about the Eagles making a move for a running back.
Let’s take a look at a few of the options that are out there.
We mention Bell because he is still holding out and surely Howie Roseman has at least placed a phone call. I just don’t see the two-time All-Pro winding up here. If he’s unwilling to suit up for the Steelers in their attempt to make a Super Bowl run, what makes you think he’d come here and do it? Anything is possible, I just don’t see it … and reportedly the Eagles don’t either.
A report out of Buffalo gave this rumor some steam, but as our Reuben Frank points out, this just doesn’t seem like the type of move Roseman makes. McCoy is 30, he hasn’t been productive this season, the Bills’ asking price sounds ridiculous, and there are still legal matters that haven’t been resolved.
This name actually intrigues me. John Clayton mentioned Howard as an option Tuesday on WIP. Howard is a productive back — back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons to start his career — that doesn’t seem like a great fit for Bears head coach Matt Nagy. The Pro Bowl back has been mentioned in trade rumors before.
He’s not necessarily a great fit here, either, but he could replicate LeGarrette Blount’s role as a between the tackles runner and closer. The situation is similar to when the Eagles traded for Ajayi: second-to-last year on his rookie deal, doesn’t really fit his current team and his role has diminished. And don’t forget the Joe Douglas connection.
Would the first-place Bears really make this trade? Unlikely, but the Ajayi deal came out of nowhere last season.
Johnson’s name has been floated out there, but the 26-year-old just signed an extension with the Cardinals this offseason. Given that, the Eagles would likely have to give up something significant, something I don’t think Roseman is prepared to do for a running back. With that said, Johnson is probably the most attractive name here. He is probably one of the top three backs in all of football.
Coleman has been one half of a dynamic running back duo over the past three-plus seasons in Atlanta. With Coleman in the final year of his deal and the 1-4 Falcons having already paid Devonta Freeman, they could look to get something of value before Coleman walks in free agency. He’s averaged just 3.7 yards per rush this season, but is at 4.2 for his career and has also been a strong weapon in the passing game.
Anderson hasn’t been mentioned in rumors, but he’s an interesting name because of his small role in the Panthers’ offense after coming over from Denver in free agency. With Christian McCaffrey emerging as more of a rushing option this season, Anderson has carried the ball just 16 times in the team’s first four games. He’s averaging 5.2 yards a carry this season and 4.4 for his career.
Ware is probably the least sexy name on this list, but he makes a ton of sense. He obviously already knows the system and ran for 921 yards (4.3 per carry) a year removed from Doug Pederson being his offensive coordinator in 2016 before missing all of 2017 with an injury. Like Coleman, he is a reliable target out of the backfield. But like Howard with the Bears, do the Chiefs want to trade away anyone from a team that’s rolling?